Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Weedy Thoughts

“You cannot forget, if you would, those golden kisses all over the cheeks of the meadow, queerly called dandelions.” – Henry Ward Beecher

I think a dandelion blooming on a manicured lawn is perfect. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I think a dandelion blooming on a manicured lawn is perfect. — Photo by Pat Bean

For Weedy Brains

There’s something in me that loves dandelions. Perhaps it is their cheery yellow petals that glimmer in the sun. Or maybe it’s their fragile, snow-like seeds that scatter after those petals have vanished.  I’ve long tried to capture that fanciful seed-blown storm in a sketches –- but always without success.

 

And I marvel at the miracle of rebirth that occurs wen the golden orb has turned to snowy seeds.  -- Photo by Pat Bean

And I marvel at the miracle of rebirth that occurs when the golden orb has turned to snowy seeds. — Photo by Pat Bean

I enjoy seeing a meadow of dandelions lightning up the side of a hill. But even more I enjoy seeing a single dandelion poking on a manicured lawn. Such  imperfection speaks to my heart because it makes the imperfect perfect.

I think I must have weeds growing in my brain. But that’s OK. I’ll water them anyway.

A Few More Weedy Thoughts        

“A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.” – Doug Lawson

            “Roses are red, violets are blue; But they don’t get around, like the dandelions do.” — Slim Acres

            “Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.” — A.A. Milne

            “What would the world be, once bereft of wet and wildness? Let them be left … Long live the weeds and the wildness yet.” – Gerard Manley Hopkins        

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

    Bean Pat: The Iris and the Lily http://tinyurl.com/qd9kqby Step outside and take a walk through your garden . Or check out the Ghost Bear Photography,  http://tinyurl.com/k8a88d7 if you’re more ambitious. Nearby or far away, Mother Nature awes us.

A Rainy Day in Tucson

      “Poetry is not the most important thing in life. I’d much rather lie in a hot bath reading Agatha  Christie and sucking sweets.” – Dylan Thomas

I was doing sky exercises with my watercolors, and came up with this one for a stormy day.

I was doing sky exercises with my watercolors, and came up with this one for a stormy day.

And It Captured too Much of my Attention 

It rained here in Tucson yesterday, a hard downpour that pretty much kept up a steady pace from early morning until mid-afternoon. I got drenched twice trying to walk dogs during pauses in the rain. But each time it began raining again before I could get back under a roof.

I  titled this one "After the Storm."

I titled this one “After the Storm.”

I’ve always loved rainstorms, but there seems to be something magical when rain falls in the desert. My neighbor said she watched the patterns of raindrops as they flowed on and off the leaves of the tree that shades her balcony for hours.

I also watched the rain — but only for a few minutes at a time. Even as an old broad, it’s hard for me to stay still doing nothing for long.

Instead, I found myself frequently glancing at the rain out the window that sits in front of my computer, while I tried to do a serious job of line-proofing my book, “Travels With Maggie.” It seemed like a good occupation for a rainy day.

Or maybe not.

I just reread some of what I had proofed yesterday, and found missed mistakes. Some days I don’t think there is an end in sight.

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat: Martha died 100 years ago this month.  http://tinyurl.com/pvoaxsk Who is Martha, you ask? Check out this blog and find out.

 

Ugly Furniture

“I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose.” – Arthur Conan Doyle

Be it a string of berries or a colorful sunrise, Mother Nature always has beauty to share. -- Photo by Pat Bean.

Be it a string of berries or a colorful sunrise, Mother Nature always has beauty to share. — Photo by Pat Bean.

But I Didn’t Complain

            One of the things I told myself, when getting rid of all my furniture and stuff in preparation for living in a small RV so I could fulfill my lifetime travel dreams, was that when I finally settled down again, I would have the fun of decorating my new home from scratch.

I love this photo of my and my daughter, Deborah, taken when she was only five days old -- but not the chair I'm sitting in.

I love this photo of me and my daughter, Deborah, taken when she was only five days old — but not the chair I’m sitting in.

And that’s exactly what I did nine years later, nine years in which I learned that I didn’t need much “stuff,” because I had no room for it. My new goal was not to bring a single item of furniture into my newly rented small apartment unless I absolutely loved it.

I thought about that the other day when I came across a picture of me holding my precious first child when she was only five days old. In the past, all I’ve seen when I looked at this valued photo was a too-young-mother, who was coming to realize she had married the wrong man, a fact she wouldn’t undo for four more babies and another 21 years.

This time, however, I noticed the chair I was sitting in for the picture. That set off a string of different memories.

 

Everything is light and bright, with lots of red, in the nest I've created for myself since giving up the RV life. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Everything is light and bright, with lots of red, in the nest I’ve created for myself since giving up the RV life. — Photo by Pat Bean

Three weeks before my baby was due, my husband had found a new job that would require us to move from Houston to Lake Jackson, 50 miles south on the Texas Gulf Coast. His parents had arrived from Dallas to help us move, but that same night I went into labor. By morning, I was holding my daughter in my arms. We were going to name her Debra Leigh, and I had spelled it out for my husband. Instead,  he signed her birth certificate and named her Deborah Lee.

Then, while I remained in the hospital in Houston, he and his parents moved the few belongings from our furnished Houston apartment to an unfurnished apartment in Lake Jackson. The three of them then went shopping. and bought brand new living room, dining room and bedroom furniture.

I almost cried when I finally saw the furniture, especially the couch and chair, which were a drab, grayish brown plaid that already looked old. But in those days, I kept my feelings to myself. The dinette set was gray with gray plastic covered aluminum chairs, and the bedroom set a plain, pale blonde without any distinguishing features.

I had to live with that furniture for years. But I never complained. I think the latter is the sad part.

Bean Pat:  A little tune http://tinyurl.com/lwg37fc Just a cheerful photo to cheer your day. Mother Nature is so awesome. I hope you always have time to enjoy her. It was her beauty that helped sustain me when I had little beauty to enjoy behind walls.

Labor Day Weekend

“Weekends don’t count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless.”  — Bill Watterson

Not What I Had Planned

This is Bobo. He misses his family most of all the animals. He usually finds a place near me and just mopes. He's old, too. Zip is my daughter's youngest dog, and he keeps Pepper exercised. He and she usually run around the horse arena while I'm feeding and watering the horses. My daughter's husband is his favorite pet.

This is Bobo. He misses his family most of all the animals. He usually finds a place near me and just mopes. He’s old, too. Zip is my daughter’s youngest dog, and he keeps Pepper exercised. He and she usually run around the horse arena while I’m feeding and watering Hondo. My daughter’s husband is Bobo’s favorite pet.

My Tucson daughter and her family headed up to Rose Lake high up on Mount Lemmon for the Labor Day weekend. They took both their SUV and truck, with both crammed as full as a VW Beetle holding a mob of college students.

This is Tara. She's long past the average age of a great Dane, but still, despite her growing infirmities, is full of joy. Age, however, has shortened her bladder control. So it was that three or four times a night I would feel her cold nose on my sleeping face, requesting that I get her up and let her outside. Of course I did. She often would also stand in front of me to lt me know that she wanted the blanked on her bed straightened. And iif I didn't immediately comply, she would lay her head on my lap and drool all over me. It's a good think I love her.

This is Tara. She’s long past the average age of a great Dane, but still, despite her growing infirmities, is full of joy. Age, however, has shortened her bladder control. So it was that three or four times a night I would feel her cold nose on my sleeping face, requesting that I get up and let her outside. Of course I did. She often would also stand in front of me to lt me know that she wanted the blanket on her bed straightened. And iif I didn’t immediately comply, she would lay her head on my lap and drool all over me. It’s a good think I love her.

What they didn’t take were their horse, Hondo; their dogs, Tara the great Dane, Bobo the yellow lab and Zip of origins unknown; their cats, Rocky and Miss Kitty; and a fighting Siamese fish, whose name, if it has one, I don’t know. As I have done many times previously, I stayed behind to take care of the animals.

So it was that last Thursday, my own canine companion, Pepper, and I drove across town to spend five days in a huge home, with TVs in almost every room, which is far different from my own small, but beloved, apartment, which does not have a TV.

. The three dogs mobbed us at the door, greeting Pepper and I as long-lost friends whom they hadn’t seen for a zillion years. They love both of us.

With me, I had brought my computer and plans to get a lot of writing done, my art supplies  to use as a break from the writing, and of course several books to read. I should have traveled more lightly, because all these items, except for an audio book, “The Deeds of Paksenarrion,” saw little use.

First I discovered that there was a “Lord of the Rings” marathon on TV. I had been meaning to re-watch this trilogy for some time now. Then there was the two-day NCIS marathon. I love NCIS. So there went another two days.

Then there was the fact that I wanted my own desk, which looks out on trees and a red-tiled roof , from which to do my writing. I also wanted  my own,  tall, granite-like table top on which to do my art work. It was as if I couldn’t write or draw, or at least wasn’t comfortable doing so. in a different setting.

Or was this just an excuse to do nothing for four days?

I suspect that was the case. But now I’m back at home and have no excuse – and thankfully no TV. So how went your Labor Day weekend?

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat: Matador Magazine http://tinyurl.com/lkkw6pe Although I prefer to give a pat on the back to non-commercial bloggers, I couldn’t resist this article about America’s 25 most picturesque mountains. I noted that I’ve personally seen 18 of those on this list. I always knew I was blessed. Enjoy.

No, Can’t and Have To

 

Telling me I can't do something is almost like telling Niagara Falls to stop flowing. Are you a bit like that, too. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Telling me I can’t do something is almost like telling Niagara Falls to stop flowing. Are you a bit like that, too. — Photo by Pat Bean

“Being stubborn can be a good thing. Being stubborn can be a bad thing. It just depends on how you use it.” – Willie Aames.

Fighting Words

I keep a to-do list that I update daily, but I tell myself the things on the list are simply suggestions for how I can spend my day. I also put more tasks on the to-do list than  I can possible accomplish in a day. That’s because I like choices – and the satisfaction I get each time I cross off, with a big black pen, a completed chore.

But the minute I feel I have to do something, pretty much guarantees it is not likely to get done. I turn into a stubborn mule that won’t budge.

On the other hand, tell me I can’t do something, and hell would have to freeze over before I wouldn’t do it. .

I know I’m not alone in this kind of weird behavior. For example, just yesterday, when my next door neighbor and her teenage daughter were visiting, the subject of to-do lists came up.

The daughter laughed, and said that putting something down on her mom’s list made it the one thing she absolutely wouldn’t do.

Mom shook her head, but then said, “She’s right.”

It makes me wonder who hot-wired our brains?  Why is it that when someone tells me  “No,” I immediately think “Yes?”  Why is it that when someone tells me “You can’t,” I do it?  Or when they say I “have to,” I don’t?

I just know that “no,” “can’t” and “have to” are fighting words in my world Continue Reading »

Art and Thoughts

           “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso

Chickens and Flowers

            I pretty much gave up painting for the nine years I lived in an RV. Just not enough room to piddle around with it the way I do. I’m trying to get back to doing it these days, Just for the fun of it.

And sharing is part of the fun. I know it’s not great art, but doing it cheers my soul and satisfies my creative side.

 

These hens remind me of the ones that ran around my grandmother's backyard, and eventually ended up on the Sunday dinner table.

These hens remind me of the ones that ran around my grandmother’s backyard, and eventually ended up on the Sunday dinner table.

 

            “If you know sometin’ well, you can always paint it, but people would be better off buyin’ chickens” – Grandma Moses 

Not exactly how I wanted this to come out, but I'm committed to finishing every painting I start, even if it goes in the garbage can afterwards.

Not exactly how I wanted this to come out, but I’m committed to finishing every painting I start, even if it goes in the garbage can afterwards.

And this is the poem I think of when I think of flowers:

 I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

 I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze

Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

~William Wordsworth, 1804

Bean Pat Birding Thailand http://tinyurl.com/ksl9p4v Some armchair birding for species not you won’t see unless you travel. There are nearly 10,000 bird species worldwide, of which not quite 1,000 can be found in North America. I would truly like to see all 10,000 in person, but since I can’t this is the second best way to go birding.

“Not all is doom and gloom. We are beginning to understand the natural world and are gaining a reverence for life – all life.” – Roger Tory Peterson

            “We will need action and vigilance in the years to come, and Wild America’s defenders will have their work cut out for them. But the despoilers should not gloat, for history is against them. If you doubt that, just look back a few decades.” – Scott Weidensaul  

Some of my favorite parts of Wild America was reading James Fisher's comments about America's many wonders, including his awe at his first sight of the Grand Canyon. Actually, I'm awed every time I stand on its rim. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Some of my favorite parts of Wild America was reading James Fisher’s comments about America’s many wonders, including his awe at his first sight of the Grand Canyon. Actually, I’m awed every time I stand on its rim. — Photo by Pat Bean

Bookish Wednesday

            I just finished rereading Scott Weidensaul’s “Return to Wild America,” after rereading Roger Tory Peterson and James Fisher’s “Wild America,” which was first published in 1955, and continues to be a popular classic today.

 

If I had to name one bird that I saw everywhere there was a wetlands area during my own journeys around North America, it would be the great blue heron. While I never saw more than one or two at a time, they did seem to be everywhere there was water. -- Photo by Pat Bean

re If I had to name one bird that I saw everywhere there was a wetlands area during my own journeys around North America, it would be the great blue heron. While I never saw more than one or two at a time, they did seem to be everywhere there was water. — Photo by Pat Bean

“Wild America” is about Roger and James’ 100-day, 30,000 mile, journey across the continent, mostly in search of birds. Scott’s book, published 50 years later in 2005, is a year-long retracing of the two naturalist’s journey, which was arranged by Roger for his English birding colleague, James.

I reread these books slowly, over the period of two months, just a few pages at a time, so I could fully comprehend and enjoy seeing the birds and the landscapes through these men’s eyes. I highly recommend these books for anyone who loves this beautiful country of ours as much as I do.

The half-century contrasts between the two book are part doom and gloom, but also part joy and cheer. In some ways the wildlife and land are healthier and in some ways not.

Rereading the books was awesome, and well worth my time.

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat: Green Herons at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge  http://tinyurl.com/ms8fkdx I love watching these birds; and since I couldn’t make up my mind today a Bean Pat also to Shroom Shroom http://tinyurl.com/m5pl4aj Tolkien and mushrooms

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 681 other followers